Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

14 April 2015. It Was Just an “Ordinary” Parish Easter in PA…

00 Happy Easter 01. Happy Acolytes. 20.04.14.



We’ve all heard the slick professional “performances” of the Easter liturgy… well, here’s a clip from a real-deal parish in PA. THIS is what most of us got for Easter… we’re right satisfied, to say the least. The older that I get, the less “fussy” I am about details (to the point where I know it’d drive one younger friend in particular to the bottle… the devil isn’t in the details, dear). I’m happy to have the liturgy, no matter how I can get it…

Christ IS risen from the dead… as the Apostle said, our faith is NOT in vain…


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Some Cabinet Vox Pop on the OCA Episcopate



People in Europe ask me about this or that OCA bishop … indeed, a common question is, “Are all the OCA bishops gay?” That was true of Feodosy Lazor and Herman Swaiko… there’s much speculation about Benjamin Peterson, Jonas Paffhausen, Seraphim Stroheim, and the late Dmitri Royster. I tell people, “I know of two that aren’t gay for certain… Bishop Mel and the new Bishop in Alaska”. Here’s some Cabinet vox pop on the subject:

Yes, I know for an utter and certain and absolute fact that Bishop David Mahaffey of Alaska is very much heterosexual. He pines for his departed wife Matushka Karen, and continues to miss her in every way, every day. He’s the only priest I know to be scrupulous about avoiding being alone with a female. Bishop David is a scrupulous and honest man, and I think he may be the best thing that has happened to Alaska in a long time.

This is an honest and straightforward account. There are good guys out there too. If I see ‘em, I’ll be as upfront about the good guys as I am about the baddies. Hat tip to my informant.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

24 March 2015. Updates on Two Continuing Abuse Cases Involving Orthodox Clergy

00 Suffer the Little Children and Fordbid Them Not. 01.10.12


The Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia (BOD) announced on its website on Saturday 21 March 2015 that Archpriest Paisius DeLucia would be defrocked.



SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is relieved that the BOD removed the founder and former head of St Innocent Academy (SIA) in Kodiak AK from a position of authority. However, they agree with the publishers of Academy Abuse that more remains to be done.


At least 18 former students accused DeLucia of physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse. The spiritual court concluded that he publicly shamed kids, used vulgar language, engaged in unbecoming behaviour while serving the sacraments, including interrupting liturgy to discipline attendees, violated confessions, and used “improper pastoral approaches toward the faithful”.


David Clohessy, the Executive Director of SNAP, said, “First, it must be said that this decision would not have been possible without the bravery and persistence of all the former students who testified at the spiritual court. We congratulate them on their victory and applaud their courage”. Cappy Larson of SNAP added, “However, the diocese also needs to step up and explain what they will do in the future to prevent further abuses. As a mother, it’s very disturbing to me that St Innocent’s was billing itself as a treatment centre for troubled youth without any oversight from the Church or from the state. Kids with problems deserve a qualified and credentialed staff”. Melanie Jula Sakoda, also of SNAP, wondered, “And are the BOD and Christ the Saviour Brotherhood (CSB) going to take responsibility for what happened to the students who attended the academy? Fr Paisius’ victims may need counselling and therapy as they try to heal”.

DeLucia founded SIA in 1998 under the auspices of CSB, and the group reportedly still owns the property where the school sits. The academy, along with other parishes from CSB, joined the BOD in 2000.


Clohessy concluded, “There’s also still an open criminal investigation into the academy. Victims who haven’t yet done so should make a report to Trooper Robert Casey (907-486-4121robert.casey@alaska.gov) as soon as possible”.


At their recent meeting in Syosset NY, the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) again delayed defrocking Canadian Archbishop Seraphim Storheim.


Members of an abuse survivors’ group are outraged that the synod still has not removed the archbishop from the ranks of clergy. He was the OCA’s highest-ranking clergyman in Canada, but was convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old altar boy in January of 2014 and is currently in jail.




The OCA’s synod instead “reviewed” the report of the Synodal Commission, as well as procedures and a date for the spiritual court. They also appointed a committee of three bishops to “develop appropriate procedures”.


Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say that the denomination has publicly acknowledged that their sex abuse policy requires that clergy convicted of child sexual abuse be laicised.




Cappy Larson of SNAP said, “This ‘spiritual court’ seems to me to be little more than a time-wasting formality. Both Archbishop Seraphim’s guilt and church policy are crystal clear”. Melanie Jula Sakoda, also of SNAP, added, “At least Archbishop Seraphim can’t use his religious title to hurt children from behind bars, but what happens when he completes his sentence?” Larson concluded, “The OCA can’t afford to have the archbishop’s die-hard supporters expose kids to danger to prove to him that they trust him completely”. 



The fact that the OCA refuses to give Storheim the drop even though he’s in the slam for nasty doings speaks volumes. I have to walk away from this one. One MP priest asked me, “Which one of the OCA bishops isn’t gay?” This gives that question tread… and I wish that it didn’t. However, facts are facts… the OCA has to shitcan Storheim and apologise to his victims for the over-the-top attacks on them by Storheim’s shyster in court. That’s what I believe, any road. I stand by it.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

OCA SOBs Kick the Can Down the Road… Delay Naming Bishop for DOS… Is This a Divided House? Is This Another Dahulich Manoeuvre?

01 Scaredy Cat


Here is a letter sent out by the OCA:

Dear Faithful Clergy of the Diocese of the South:

All the blessings of the fast!

Please carefully read the attached letter from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. I also encourage you to send this out to your parish mailing list if you so desire. Following this past week’s Holy Synod meeting, Fr Gerasim has been appointed Administrator of the Diocese of the South, and Metropolitan Tikhon is now the locum tenens.  As Administrator, Fr Gerasim has been given full responsibility for the life of the diocese, save for those things specifically reserved for a bishop. Practically speaking, this means that your dean continues to be the point of first contact when pastoral need arises, but that Fr Gerasim will be integrally involved in all the decisions that affect the life of our diocese.

From today forward in liturgical services you should no longer commemorate Archbishop Nikon, but only the Metropolitan as “His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South”. Be assured, too, that Fr Gerasim is in complete agreement with this decision, and as soon as he is back in Dallas, he will send out a letter explaining things from his perspective. This decision in no way nullifies our Special Assembly, and the Holy Synod hasn’t rejected Fr Gerasim, nor has any other candidate been put forth for our Diocese. I, therefore, ask everyone to temper his disappointment that there wasn’t an election and recognise that this is the next step in a process that will lead to the election of a new bishop for the Diocese of the South. I counsel patience, and I also beg for restraint, especially as regards to any clergy who might be tempted to “vent” on social media or in the “blogosphere”.  As one wise member of our diocese has stated, “this is a process, not an event”.

Please let me know if I can serve you in any way. In the meantime, I pray that you all have a profitable remainder of these Great and Holy Days.

I remain faithfully yours in Christ Jesus,

Archpriest Marcus


It looks as though the SOBs are divided… divided to the point of inaction. I smell Dahulich, Peterson, and the SVS gang (with Tikhon Fitz cheering from the sidelines). Remember Parma… do you recall how Dahulich tried to hijack the proceedings? At Parma, a majority of levelheaded parish leaders overrode Dahulich’s naked power grab. Dahulich has a devoted and zealous coterie of young priests… whom he uses as stormtroopers. In the SOBs, the bishops don’t have their archpriestly allies immediately present. Ergo, Dahulich and Peterson obviously tried an end-run to put Eliel in as bishop. They failed. However, Mollard’s a weak reed, a coward in all respects. This was a situation that cried for leadership… Mollard gave none. Yet, it wasn’t the worst outcome. Nikon Liolin is ill… ergo, if Mollard takes over as locum, it means that the sede vacante period might be longer than most expect (it’ll depend on who wins the power tussle in the SOBs). It’s clear that Eliel isn’t favoured in the ROCOR or at the Centre. Let’s be frank… the OCA is a dependency of the MP in all but name. That’s why Dahulich is so dangerous… he’s an EP man, with ties to the Phanar. Also, if Nikon is ill enough not to be able to act as locum, is his health bad enough to keep him from active duty or shall it take a worse turn, presenting the OCA will another empty seat?

We don’t have much to go on… however, it’s clear that something untoward occurred and Mollard is too scared to deal with it. Yes, that’s bad… but Dahulich would’ve been worse… reflect on that. Mollard WAS the Sobor’s choice… FOR GOOD REASON. Keep that in mind.


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